Erdogan holds talks in Serbia as Turkey hikes Balkan clout

Adjust Comment Print

Ankara, Oct 11 Turkey's top diplomat and his American counterpart today discussed the reciprocal suspension of visa services, in their first talks since the eruption of one of the worst crises between Washington and Ankara in years.

"We do not see him (Bass) as the representative of the United States in Turkey", he said at a news conference with President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade. "The document testifies to the readiness of the two educational institutions to develop cooperation in the educational sphere, promotes the exchange of scientific experience and the development of educational programs", the press service said.

Turkey is calling for a normalization of relations with the United States following rising diplomatic tensions between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Sandzak, where many people consider Bosnia or Turkey - rather than Serbia - as their motherland, has remained peaceful but tense over the years.

USA warship sails near South China Sea, Beijing denounces Washington's move
Trump's visit to China will reciprocate a trip to the United States made in April by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Twelve nautical miles mark internationally recognized territorial limits.

The prime minister told governors that Ankara would use "common sense" in dealing with the situation at a time when regional and global tensions have been rising.

"In order to minimise the number of visitors to our diplomatic and consular missions in the U.S. while this assessment proceeds, effective immediately we have suspended all visa services regarding the U.S. citizens at our diplomatic and consular missions", it added.

The spat between the two countries was ignited by the recent arrest of Metin Topuz, a US consulate employee in Istanbul, over suspected links to USA -based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is accused by Ankara of being behind a failed coup attempt in July 2016. Bass is at the end of his posting and is due to leave Turkey at the weekend.

Meanwhile, American pastor Andrew Brunson, who ran a church in the western city of Izmir, has been held in Turkey since October 2016 on charges of being a member of Gulen's group.

Comments